The epic sounds of Arcane Roots bagged them a headline tour after getting the recognition they deserve in Kent. Chris Price caught up with them.
As metallers, goths and rockers gathered at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park for this summer’s Hevy Music Festival, Arcane Roots very loudly announced themselves.
The London-based three-piece kicked off proceedings on the Saturday of the event and very quickly won over a crowd who had largely never heard of them. The gig was a reflection of their whole summer, which included a triumphant set at major metal festival Sonisphere, where they were watched by Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor and Mastodon.
As a consequence they have bagged themselves a headline UK tour which will get under way in Kent. After their set at Hevy they could not wait to get back to the county.
“We were really impressed” said frontman Andrew Groves, 24. “For a small festival it has a high concentration of actual fans.
“As a band you can go to a gig and play to 100 people and only 10% are fans who are interested in hearing new music. The good thing about Hevy is all the great bands were not massive at all but everyone was really appreciative. For such a small festival compared to something like Sonisphere, we got such a massive response because it was full of real music fans.”
Influenced by the likes of Fall of Troy, Foals, Refused and The Mars Volta, Arcane Roots’ sound is an ambitious mix of heavy rock and pop. They are keen to point out their show at Tunbridge Wells’ Forum will be equally ambitious. Andrew said: “People are going to see an arena-size show in these small venues.
“We built a whole light rig and we have been working on song collaborations. It will be a bit more than what you normally get at the Forum. We wanted it to be spectacular but not expensive for people to come along.”
In support of the tour, they will also be releasing the single You Are as a free download. It comes from their debut Left Fire EP, which has been championed by Radio 1’s Zane Lowe and Daniel P. Carter.
Andrew said: “As a band you need to be aware that getting on the radio is what moves things forward. Our music needs to eventually make money. You need a three-minute song with a good chorus to get on the radio. Then when you know what is required you can challenge it and have fun with it, but if you always say no to the structure it is hard to stay successful as a band. You need to give the radio what they want but play with it.”
The band are touring with Norwegian group 22, an act who got signed after Arcane Roots saw them at a show and introduced them to their manager. They recommend them highly but have some unexpected other suggestions for music-lovers’ iPods.
Andrew said: “KT Tunstall doesn’t get anywhere near the attention she deserves. She got shoved in with other people coming out at the start of the X Factor period but I think her songwriting is incredible. Lots of people don’t get the attention they deserve. Pop music gets written off but more artists than you think write their own songs.
“Sometimes you can write a really well crafted song but it sounds really simple and people think it is easy and rubbish. But the simplest songs are the hardest to write.”
Arcane Roots will perform at Tunbridge Wells Forum on Friday, November 6. Doors 8pm. Tickets £6. Box office 0870 264 3333.